I've been a fan of the Evil Twin for several years. This is a great, warm tube direct box. You might wonder about the questionable extravagance of an $850 direct box. Well if you think of it as merely a DI you might be right, but you'd also be limiting your purview. You can use the Evil Twin to warm up just about any signal. I've used it on many a guitar track, sometimes re-amping a track already on tape or hard disk, bringing it and an amp through the Evil Twin with some great results. This is especially crucial for digital recording where every bit of tube circuitry goes far towards softening those often cruel zeros and ones. But where the Evil Twin really shines is on those lower frequency instruments: electric bass, acoustic bass, kick drum, synths. I've used it as a DI on the bass - I've put the cable from the bass into the Evil Twin and then into the mic pre. I especially love the way it warms up my Millennia Media pre. Remember, it's more than a DI - you can use it before or after the mic pre to add tube character. Just today I wanted to do a quick and dirty funky little clean guitar part and didn't want to bother with an amp. I put my guitar cable through the Evil Twin. Whew! And as for bass, I can no longer even conceive of recording without it. This thing rocks! On the tech side, there's the usual connections you'd expect on a DI, plus a few extras, like an EQ switch that provides an 8 dB peak at either 3 k or 9 k. These are quite responsive and noticeable. There's also a stepped rotary switch gain control, a -20 dB pad switch, a polarity switch (pin 2 or 3 hot), and a ground lift switch. The box will output mic or line level. Spec-wise, this box is pretty amazing: freq response is 3 Hz to 250 kHz with a 50 ohm source. What a difference an Evil Twin makes! (413-584-6767, grounded@javanet.com)

Tape Op is a bi-monthly magazine devoted to the art of record making.

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